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Shotguns are large-barrel long guns that fire a large amount of small steel or lead pellets (“shot”) with each pull of the trigger rather than a single bullet. The shot flies from the barrel in a narrow cone-shaped pattern. This dispersal aids the shooter in hitting small game animals, especially those in flight, such as ducks. The size of the shot varies, with smaller birdshot less likely to kill or incapacitate a human, while larger buckshot is more useful for home defense. Shotguns can be single-shot weapons, pump-action weapons in which a single pump chambers a round, and semi-automatic. Examples of shotguns include the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870.

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